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Hair toners neutralize an unwanted hair color, especially colors with brassy gray or blue tones. Toners are translucent, deposit-color formulas that can give treated hair a color that appears natural. Using a toner on color-stripped hair before applying the hair dye will not affect the new color. The toner only affects the current shade of your hair.
Color-stripped hair is often left in an odd, often bright, shade. If you wish to make this color your permanent shade, hair toner will neutralize the color and reduce the brightness. However, if you want to top off the color-stripped hair with a new color, use the toner 24 hours after applying the hair dye. Applying any color to stripped hair will make the dye bright and bold. Using a toner after the new dye will balance out the boldness and create a natural-looking shade.
If you wanted a Marilyn Monroe platinum blond, but ended up canary yellow, you know all about brassiness. Some professionals begin the brunette to blonde process by stripping your hair of color. This removes the darker pigments so the blond color will have a stronger effect. Unfortunately, the end result might be a little too much on the yellow or orange side. A toner can be applied after the bleaching process. It will fade the brassy tones, and give the new color a natural, platinum blonde appearance.
Dark hair dyes, especially dark brown and black, contain gray and blue tones. Sometimes, these pigments are more prominent, especially dark dye used on stripped or naturally lighter hair. Using a hair toner after dying your hair darker lessens the gray and blue pigments. It will bring out the darker shade for a natural brunette color.
Consult a professional whenever you want to strip, tone or dye your hair. Hair stripping, dying and bleaching zaps moisture from the hair and could leave it dry and brittle. If you prefer to do these treatments at home, always follow the instructions on kit. Many hair toners are intended for specific hair colors and conditions, and misusing the toner could seriously damage your hair.